How The Holidays Change When Your Parents Are Divorced

How The Holidays Change When Your Parents Are Divorced

Change is hard, but sometimes it helps you to see what is truly important in life.

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. The world is covered in pretty lights and sometimes the outside is even decorated with glittering, white snow. But, sometimes the warm, happy, family scenes depicted in stories, movies and pictures, change. It can be really hard to adjust to a new life of two households and two sets of traditions--some old, some new. But sometime's, it's actually kind of worth it.

When my parents first got divorced, I struggled. I was never super happy about change and I was not accustomed to feeling pulled in two directions. But, nobody was. This was news for everyone. As the years go by, my parents have begun to understand the new traditions they have established and this pull has become less pronounced. Both understand that it's still a big deal that my sister and I eat dinner with my dad's family on Christmas Eve and that, on Christmas Day, the schedule flips each year. And, when things come up, my parents have gotten better at communicating what needs to be done to make things run smoothly. It didn't start that way, but after a few years, the bumps have been smoothed out.

The biggest change I noticed, however, was not that I'm less stressed at this time of year or that, (wow) my parents are understanding of each other's wants and respectful of new traditions that have been created. The biggest change had to do with what I found most important about the entire holiday season.

It's really annoying to be fed three Thanksgiving meals over the course of 10 hours. It's exhausting to switch houses halfway through Christmas morning or New Year's Eve. But, it's worth it. Why?

What really changed when my parents got divorced wasn't the crazy schedule, it was the change from enjoying the traditional parts of holidays to just enjoying the presence of the people I love. Nobody likes feeling pulled in a billion directions by family and nobody likes traveling a bunch in one day to make everyone happy, but it's so worth it. When you get older and are not home every day to see your family, holidays become so important just to catch up for hours.

You can talk about how crazy your professors were this last semester and let everyone know what exciting plans you have for the spring. You can hug your dog and play fetch in the house for hours even though you know you aren't supposed to. You can hug your cat and catch up with your sister on how crazy her schedule has been the last few weeks preparing to dance the lead in "The Nutcracker." And, even when you're running around like a chicken with your head cut off, at least you're doing it with family.

Even though they annoy you sometimes, family is what makes all of this worth it. Change is scary and change is hard, but sometimes change can help you identify the most important things in life and appreciate precious time with family.

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50 Random Thoughts You Have On Any Given Snow Day

"Oh no, I slept through my 7:30 class!"

When you live in the south, snow days are few and far between. School's more likely to be shut down for a tornado than snow! When a snow day happens, it's a surreal experience that feels separated from reality and that disconnect spawns some weird thoughts. Here are 50 random thoughts from a snow day.

1. "Oh no, I slept through my 7:30 class!"

2. "Wait! Class is canceled and I can sleep in!

Falls back into unconsciousness.

3. "Did I really sleep until noon?!? Half my free day is gone!"

4. "Oh well..."

5. "So what do I want to do with a WHOLE day free?"

6. "Hmmm, brain isn't working. Coffee, first!"

7. "I wonder when it's supposed to start snowing? I'll check online!"

Spends an hour fooling around on Facebook and Pinterest.

8. "I need to do something productive. I'll do some homework! Right after I eat..."

9. "What do I want to eat?"

Pizza, salad, chicken, mac n cheese?

10. "Chocolate chip pancakes!"

11. "Wait, why are they falling apart when I flip?"

Oh...I forgot the egg...

12. "PB&J it is!"

13. "Okay, I've eaten and it's time to start homework!"

14. "But I can't leave all these dishes here..."

I'll just have to do the dishes first!

15. "Dishes are done, and I think I've earned a break!"

16. "I wonder what's new on Netflix?"

17. "Oooo, this looks interesting!"

30 minutes later...nope, bored.

18. "I should watch a movie instead!"

30 minutes later...nope, not enough attention span.

19. "Oh! It's 4 PM. I'll just put it on Friends for background noise while I do homework."

20. "Do Joey and Chandler even buy food?"

They're always at Monica's. Does she just do the shopping for all of them?

21. "Monica has a really nice apartment."

I wonder how much rent is?

22. "Rent in New York City is how much!?!?!"

23. "No wonder they all eat Monica's food! They can't afford it!"

24. "How do Rachel, Pheobe, and Joey even afford to live here!?! How are they not homeless!?!"

25. "How many people in New York are homeless?"

26. "63,000!!!!!!!!"

*internal sobbing*

27. "Oh geez, I need to do homework still..."

28. "Okay, let's check Blackboard."

29. "Nothing new. Might as well check Facebook while I'm on here."

30. "Looks like another person got engaged."

31. "And another one got married."

32. "And another had a baby."

33. "And a second baby..."

34. "And a third baby..."

35. "And a fourth baby...what's in the water!?!?!"

36. "What did their parents say?!?"

37. "Wait, we're all adults and having babies is normal now..."

38. "Being an adult is weird."

39. "I wonder if Pinterest has any tips on being an adult?"

40. "Oh, that mac n cheese recipe looks amazing!"

41. "I should go get the ingredients for that!

Wait, roads are closed today...

42. "Tips on Disney World travel!"

43. "I miss Disney so much!"

44. "Kyle's never been to Disney! We need to go!"

45. "How much does a week at Disney cost?"

46. "...so we might have enough money in 20 years..."

47. "He's never been to Universal either! How much does that cost?"

48. "...this is just depressing..."

49. "Okay, enough messing around. I do need to check email, though."

50. "Awesome! Another snow day tomorrow!"

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Summer Adventures

Warmer weather calls for summertime adventures with friends.

The countdown to summer begins as everyone looks forward to the warmer weather and longer days of sunlight. Days of getting to sleep in until noon and then staying out late.

There is nothing like getting to sleep in until noon, and then staying out late because it's summer! Summer is filled with many memories and adventures, because it is a time to relax and have fun. You feel the happiest during the summer, when your getting a nice tan and spending almost every day and every second with your friends.

Summer is also the time for adventures. My friends and I always make a list of the places we want to go, as well as a list of things we want to see before the end of the summer.

The best days are when you can drive with all the windows down, your hair is blowing in the wind, and you have the music jamming. Nothing like having a little jam session with your friends while cruising down the highway. We all have that one friend who rolls down the windows and blasts the music whenever they're driving.

"Weird New Jersey" is a list of places located throughout New Jersey and the stories behind each of them. During the summer, I go looking for these places with my sister, my best friend, my best friend's mom, and my best friend's sister. Clinton Road is one of these places, and the story is if you travel along it at night, a black truck will appear and follow you.

We Jersey people also like to take trips to the Jersey Shore. The beach is one of the best places to go, and I could sit there for days just soaking in the sun and listening to the waves crashing onto the shore. The beach is a relaxing place to go, where you can spend time with family and friends. Not only can you go to the beach, but you can also go to the boardwalk and get some of the best food and ice cream around.

Another thing my friends and I like to do is go adventuring on my one friend’s boat. We like to cruise all along the lake and take in the scenery. Sometimes we like to park the boat and go swimming, or just float around and soak in the sun.

Many people like to adventure to an exotic location for a week or two, where they spend their time getting to know the area and local culture. I usually adventure to Florida, whether it be to the beach or to Disney. While we're in Florida for a week or so, my family and I get to explore the area, shop, and relax by the ocean or a pool.

Finally, hiking is another great way to go on an adventure. In New Jersey (specifically Sussex County), there are several places to go hiking. Most of these places have beautiful scenery and are incredibly peaceful. Last summer, I went hiking at Adams Creek, which has a waterfall that is astonishing to see in person.

Cover Image Credit: Kristen Rafferty

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